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W.T. Clarke HS Student Represents East Meadow in Thanksgiving Day Parade

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Matthew Michaelis, a senior and baritone player at W.T. Clarke High School in the East Meadow School District, participated for the second time in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 28. 

Matthew was one of approximately 250 high school students from across the United States chosen to participate in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band. The full band is comprised entirely of high school students and included a color guard as well as dancers. The students spent six days rehearsing and attending workshops at the Teaneck National Guard Armory in New Jersey prior to the parade. 

During their free time, the students took part in some New York City adventures, including a trip to the famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

Thanksgiving Day began at 2 a.m. in Herald Square for Matthew and his fellow musicians. After rehearsing their performance, they fueled up at the Hard Rock Café. They were then positioned for their spot in the parade, where they were surrounded by notable acts. 

“We were actually right behind Idina Menzel and in front of the ‘Frozen’ float!” said Matthew. 

As his second year in attendance, Matthew was able to experience the event a bit differently than during his initial year. “Last year, this experience was new for me, so I was really concentrating,” he said. “But this year, I met a lot of people and it was humbling. The caliber of the group is just amazing and makes me want to do even better!”

Even in the big city surrounded by millions of people, Matthew remembered what it meant for him to be there representing his hometown and school. “It was awesome to represent East Meadow and W.T. Clarke High School,” he said. “I did the best I could, and I think I did great!”

The district congratulates Matthew on his achievements and is proud to have had him represent East Meadow on the world’s stage for the past two years.